Attractions in Palembang: South Sumatra

by Barrie on December 11, 2007

by Barrie | December 11th, 2007  

One of the best things about the city of Palembang is that you can walk to most places depending where you are staying and if you are not energetic enough then you can always hop into a becak or catch a bus. Or, you can even get a boat ride down the Musi river. Palembang has a lot to offer. The city has a 1,300 year old history and is steeped in the culture of Malay and the ancient Bhuddist Srivijayan Empire.

Here are a few places you might want to check out during your stay in this bustling city:

Ampera Bridge

The city’s landmark and one that is spectacular at night when fully lit. The bridge was built by the Japanese as reparation after the Second World War.

Masjid Agung Grand Mosque

This large and beautiful mosque mosque is located in front of the main roundabout in Palembang which you will pass coming from the Musi Bridge. It has Sriwijayan style architecture and was built by Sultan Machmud Badaruddin 1 in 1740.

Museum Sultan Machmud Badaruddin 11

The building has a fascinating semi-circular staircase and is a combination of traditional Malay and colonial architecture. Constructed on the site of the former Sultan’s Palace, it was built by the Dutch in 1823.

Benteng Kuto Besak

A fortress built by the Sultan in 1797, it has a 3 metre high wall around it. Unfortunately you can only walk around it as now it is being used by the army. Nevertheless, it is still part of Palembang’s history.

Pasar 16 Ilir

A floating market that now has a multi-storied bazaar. Basically a clothes market, bargaining here is a must. It’s a good place to buy traditional palembang textiles called Songket. When you come to Palembang, buy yourself a piece of Songket because you won’t regret it.

Pulau Kemaro

This small island is a couple of kilometres downstream from the city centre. It is home to a large Bhuddist temple and the grave of a Chinese princess. Legend has it that the princess was sent from China to marry the King Of Srivijaya but when she arrived on the island with the dowry of ceramic pots, the king expected them to be filled wit gold and precious stones. Upon inspection the king found only preserved food and became angry. The princess jumped off a cliff in fear for her life.

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